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Regulator-watching: a typology of regulatory methods adopted by sports governing bodies in concussion management
  1. Annette Greenhow
  1. Assistant Professor Faculty of Law Bond University Robina, Queensland, Australia


Objective Responses to the harm caused by sports-related concussion constitute a new interdisciplinary field of research (Doherty, 2012). Regulatory theory and principles of what constitutes ‘good’ regulation can contribute to the discussion. The aim of this research is to present a typology of regulatory responses adopted by sports governing bodies in those sports with published injury surveillance data, and to classify the responses according to the regulatory methods used by the organisations.Sports governing bodies are voluntary self-regulated associations and custodians of their sport. As the dominant regulator responsible for the development of rules and standards, the organisation carries the responsibility to provide a safe system for participants within its regulatory field, focussing on precautionary-based approaches and risk reduction strategies to preserve the health, safety and welfare of participants. The expectation is that these interventions are based on well-defined objectives and an understanding of the variety of regulatory methods available to achieve the objectives.

Design This presentation provides the results of a review of the regulatory activities of the sports governing bodies across contact and collision sport. By adopting a qualitative research method, the regulatory actions of the organisations are classified according to the four response areas of concussion management, concussion prevention, concussion research and concussion education.

Main results A variety of regulatory methods were employed by the organisations across each of the four categories. Early interventions focus on concussion management and concussion prevention with more recent interventions focussed on concussion education and concussion research strategies.

Conclusions Those organisations with clearly defined objectives and comprehensive injury surveillance data reporting systems adopted regulatory methods across each of the four categories.

Competing interests None

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